We cannot offer Planning Advice for your wagon but we have made some enquiries to our own local Planning Authority at Purbeck District Council.
Follow this link to see what they suggest
Generally it would appear that Planning permission must be sought from the relevant authority to site a wagon with the intention of letting it out for holiday let etc. Before buying a wagon we strongly recommend that you are satisfied that you can actually use it!
However, market research undertaken by interested parties has indicated that providing planning permission will be granted there is a huge demand from holiday letting companies for this type of accommodation. There is a paucity of property suitable for couples outside of apartments and wagons offer romantic and attractive holiday getaways for couples looking for something different. Being portable and with the option of going completely off-grid they lend themselves to use in locations where permanent structures connected to services would be refused permissions or just impossible due to seasonal flooding etc.
Location would be the limiting factor, but we have been told that up to £150/night would not be unreasonable to expect at the lowest season. One of our wagons, let to the National Trust, has exceeded our predictions on both revenue and occupancy.
Wagons represent an excellent investment at these kinds of return and interest from buyers looking for letting accommodation has been strong.
In February 2018, in a landmark case, Purbeck District Council passed planning permission for two Shepherd's Huts for holiday let / tourism in a private garden at Worth Matravers in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Dorset Coast. The implications for our wagons are huge. It sets a precedent allowing landowners to site and let residential trailers to tourists in Purbeck.
Showman's Wagons have always been expensive to build, in 1948 a Showman's Wagon could set you back £6000! That's when the average house price was just £1750. Showmen had wealth and wanted to flaunt it and the classic Showman's Wagon was just the place to show it in style.
Our wagons start at £35,000 for the most basic model.
Its a lot of money, and we are aware that for many the cost would be prohibitive, but this is not something that can be built by machines on a production line with unskilled labour. Each wagon is hand-built, using the best available materials, utterly bespoke to the buyers requirements and designed and built to last a lifetime and beyond. They are built as real, working Showman's Wagons, not shiny toys that will need replacing in a few years.
If you had £200,000 to invest you might think a 1 bed flat would be a good place to start. Rented out it should get you around the £500 to £580 a month.
A Showman's Wagon on holiday let should get you around £150 to £250 a night according to our local holiday let companies. One at Studland has enjoyed back to back bookings even through the depths of winter at those returns.
Taking the lower estimate that's about £35,000 a year allowing for some down time for maintenance and quiet periods. A return of over 15%. You could potentially recoup your investment in as little as 6 years.
Obviously you will need a location that tourists will want to stay in, but Wagon's, as 'temporary' structures will often by-pass many planning issues that make permanent structures impossible on otherwise perfect sites for holiday let.
On the right site a wagon could prove to be an excellent investment.
Boutique Hotels & Wedding Venues
Many fabulous country boutique hotels and wedding venues are 'land rich', a 9 or 10 bedroomed hotel in many acres of parkland catering for weddings may have serious issues gaining consent for extensions and alterations to the main building, perhaps its a listed building and the Local Authorities won't even entertain any extensions or alterations to allow expansion of rooms? Even if an extension can be built it is going to be expensive, noisy, disruptive and will almost certainly involve shutting down all or part of the hotel whilst works are carried out, often over many weeks or months.
A Showman's Wagon can be delivered to your chosen location, designed and built to your specification, matching your chosen style and livery with no fuss, no disruption and, most importantly - no down-time to the running of your business.
Park it in its new location, plug it in and let it that very night for a premium rate - Wagons are highly desirable and can be every bit as luxurious as any hotel room.
Its a cost effective and non-disruptive way to offer additional luxury accommodation, utilising land that would be otherwise impossible to develop, without many of the Planning issues that a permanent structure would entail.
We have designed a number of layouts to suit this application. Omitting the kitchen and creating large bathrooms with walk-in showers and free-standing baths, combing the bedroom with the lounge to allow king-sized bed with everything you would expect from a hotel room - wardrobes, dressing table, cabinets and cupboards, all hand made and built to your own style and specification.
Fishing & Shooting
A Showman's Wagon is built and designed to be moved, it can be used in areas subject to seasonal flooding and moved when required, allowing luxury riverside accommodation for fishing on the finer beats for trout and salmon. Imagine being able to wake up next to the best swims in a double bed, have a cooked breakfast before enjoying casting a fly or two, retiring at dusk to a cosy fire in the wood-burner - all on the banks of a chalk stream.
Maybe siting a few wagons around a lake would be the answer? We have a 'Roulotte' version with a covered balcony area at the back, accessed via French windows this small balcony can extend out over the water if the wagon is well-sited on a firm level base. The rear axle is almost 2.5m from the back of the wagon allowing the balcony to extend a decent distance over the water. Fish from a balcony!
If required a gate can be fitted with a ladder to the water allowing the balcony to be used as a swimming platform. The possibilities are endless.
Perhaps a Shooting Wagon on an estate? Lined in walnut perhaps, with gun cabinets and fine hand made furniture with cut glass windows? We can fit a fridge, freezer, drinks cabinets and bag locker. A smart and stylish place to entertain clients whilst remaining completely off-grid.
We have designed a kitchen wagon capable of providing a wide and varied menu, all in commercial grade stainless steel inside with everything you need for event catering. LPG ovens and grills, gas-fired hot water on tap, and a fold-out decking system allowing kiosk style ordering and vending. Further restaurant carriages can also be added - maybe a gin bar? Everything built to your style and specification.
Perfect for seasonal semi-permanent catering in places like beach-side car parks where winter storms and Planning Consents make it impossible for permanent structures. A wagon is an attractive addition that will fit in the landscape and draws in custom instantly.
People want to see inside a wagon - we can easily adapt your wagon for use as a promotional kiosk for shows and events. Our design layout can easily accommodate extra doors allowing through footfall past displays and counters promoting your organisation or perhaps for sales? Fully mobile it can be set up in minutes at shows and will fit within economically priced footprints.
You won't need to try very hard to get people through the doors - people will queue up to have a look inside a wagon.